Although the promise of universal social-emotional learning (SEL) programs enhancing student academic outcomes has captured public attention, there has been limited research regarding such programs’ impact on students’ state test scores. We used multilevel modeling of follow-up data from a multiyear, multisite cluster-randomized efficacy trial to investigate the impact of a brief universal SEL program on students’ subsequent state test performance. Although somewhat smaller in magnitude than those reported in previous SEL meta-analyses (e.g., Durlak et al., 2011), observed effect sizes generally were positive and consistent with other studies employing similar designs (i.e., randomized trial, state test outcome, baseline academic covariate). These findings may assuage concerns about the program negatively impacting state test scores due to lost instructional time; however, they also temper expectations about large academic gains resulting from its implementation.
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